Cloud No 9


Location: Fitzroy
Type: Residential Additions and Alterations
Size: 250 sq m
Status: Contract Documentation


This project involves alterations and additions to an historic 1830's building located in the inner suburb of Fitzroy. Originally operating as private horse stables for a nearby mansion, the triple brick building comprises a wonderful double height warehouse space with timber trusses and clerestory windows, adjacent to a two storey hay loft. The conversion of this building into a single family residence required a response that balanced the heritage value of the building (which is deemed individually significant by Council), with the desire of the client for a high-tech environmentally sustainable house that reflected their needs as a tight-knit family. Although sited in a dense urban setting, the brief called for a "sense of the natural environment and the seasons with views to the sky from the interior". The expression "sitting on cloud 9" comes from the 1896 International Cloud-Atlas – which first classified ten cloud types- of which cloud No. 9, cumulonimbus, was the biggest, puffiest, most comfortable-looking. Key to the design is a horizontal division of the large two-storey volume to increase the thermal efficiency of the building. To retain visual connection between the two levels, promote social interaction, and draw natural light into the ground level; an ethereal cloud-like membrane is inserted into the space. A series of operable apertures in the membrane define the main areas of use while assisting natural ventilation.


Design: WSH
Design Team: Andrew Simpson, Steve Hatzellis, Owen West, Stephan Bekhor and Yeong Ching.

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